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Minimal Physical Activity Necessary to Improve Mental Health

Just as we are slowing down from all the activity and excitement of the holiday season and entering the winter months when people often experience a situational mood depression and are tempted to hibernate, the New York Times is talking about research on the minimum amount of physical activity necessary to prevent psychological distress.vacuum

More than 19,000 Scottish citizens were included in this study, utilizing Scottish Health Surveys and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). The researchers took into account participants’ differences in age, gender, social economic status, marital status, BMI, long-term illness, and smoking when compiling the results. It is not surprising that they found that daily physical activity was correlated with a lower risk of psychological distress. Activities noted as physical exercise included athletics, walking, gardening, and housework. Although even daily vacuuming and dusting can improve your mental health (and your physical environment), researchers did report less risk of psychological distress for those participating in athletics.
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Heart Attack Risk Raised by Repressing Anger

There are many foods that are bad for your heart health. But your emotional health can play a role as well. In a new Swedish study, men who tend to bottle up their anger about being unfairly treated in their place of employment have double the risk of a heart attack.stress businessman

Researchers from Stockholm looked at 2,755 male employees who had not had a heart attack before the study began.

The men were asked which coping methods they used. They were asked if they dealt with problems head-on, or if they didn’t say anything and just walked away from conflict. Also, the researchers asked if they developed symptoms such as headache or stomach ache or got into arguments at home.
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Exercise Makes You Less Anxious and Reduces Stress

exerciseIs there anything negative to say about exercise?

According to a recent article in The New York Times, exercise not just enhances mood and reduces anxiety but scientists are on the groundbreaking cusp of understanding the physiological processes that enable you to feel that amazing workout high after a long run or trek on the treadmill.

We have long known that exercise enables the growth of new brain cells. But at an October meeting for the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, researchers from Princeton University revealed a startling revelation: In response to exercise, brains are calmer and more able to respond to stressful stimuli than brains that have not been exposed to regular exercise.


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How to Avoid the Thanksgiving Food Coma

Who here hasn’t had suffered from a food coma a time or two? Well, some history is not worth repeating. Take it from me, you can have fun, enjoy all the Thanksgiving harvest, and still fit into your jeans the next day. But how do you avoid this whole “food coma” thing? It starts with understanding what makes you feel that way. There’s a couple things going on and it’s hormonal.thanksgiving nap

Tryptophan, Serotonin and Melatonin

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid (protein building block the body cannot make). It is high in many protein rich foods, like turkey. Tryptophan helps build muscle like other amino acids, but it is also a specific precursor of serotonin. Nearly all serotonin is in the gut where it regulates GI movement, but about 20% is actually dispersed in the central nervous system (CNS) where it regulates mood, appetite, sleep, muscle contraction, and some cognitive functions including memory and learning. Some serotonin can become melatonin, which regulates your sleep/wake cycles.
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Low-Fat Diets Improve Your Mood

saladThere is more than one way to skin a cat. And that strange and grotesque cliche happens to apply to your weight loss approach. There are many diets that will get you to your goal weight, but not all of them will also have the added benefit of improving your mood.

According to a new study, only low-fat diets will help with long-term mood improvement.

“This study looked at one factor, and prior studies haven’t focused on psychological factors,” says Dr. Ewald Horvath, interim chairman of psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “This is a great study focusing on something very important.”
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